A clone character is a common inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. series, and many other fighting games as well. It describes two or more characters that have nearly identical movesets with slight variations in the attacks. From the developer's perspective, a given character's model can be used as a base template from which to build another, and it is usually evident which one is the "original" and which is the clone. Most clones are from the same series of games.
Semi-cloning (sometimes known as Luigification) is when a character has some attacks that are similar to those of another character, while still having some variation in terms of moveset or special attacks. The term originated from Luigi, who was originally nearly indistinguishable from Mario, but has slowly been given his own unique characteristics and attacks. This is similar to the development of Luigi throughout the Mario series' development.
Many clones from Melee were then given semi-clone qualities before they returned in Brawl, while some did not return. The exact meaning can vary for different people. Some believe that any character with clone-like traits that has any variation in attacks are semi-clones, while others think that certain characters need more unique attacks to be a semi-clone.
Clones in SSB
- Luigi has a different Dash Attack, a different Down Tilt, and his Super Jump Punch's beginning is a strong move, although they are visually identical. His fireballs are not affected by gravity, and his Down Special launches the foes instead of sucking them in, despite also looking the same as Mario.
- The Fighting Polygon Team is composed of clones of all the playable fighters.
- Metal Mario is an exact copy of Mario, but with more weight and flinch resistance.
- Giant DK is a copy of normal DK, but is much larger.
Captain Falcon's moveset is based on Samus', but the two have differing special moves along with others. They share a Down Smash, Neutral Aerial, Dash Attack, Floor Recovery, and Ledge Attack. Ness shares a Prat-Fall Recovery and Ledge Attack with Mario and Luigi, and all three share a polygon. However, Ness' other moves and special attacks differ from Mario's and Luigi's. Jigglypuff shares many attacks with Kirby, including Floor Recovery, Neutral Aerial, Forward Smash, and Down Aerial attacks. The two can also puff up and jump five times, but Jigglypuff's Special Moves among others are different than Kirby's.
Clones in SSBM
In each pair, the former is the "original", while the latter is the clone. Direct clones are usually identified in Melee by having a slightly recessed character selection box next to the original character's.
- All attacks are similar, but have "Doctor" variants. Dr. Mario's Forward Smash has electrical properties. Dr.Mario's F-Air is not a weak Meteor Smash like Mario's, but is a very powerful aerial attack with vertical knockback. Interestingly, none of Dr. Mario's moves make the "smacking" sound that some of Mario's moves have.
- Almost all attacks are similar, although their special moves have slightly different properties, and Falco's D-air is a single hit Spike. Falco's SSBM properties resemble Fox's original SSB properties.
- They both have a few unique animations in walking/running and one unique attack for their Up Smash. Pichu hurts itself when using electric attacks.
- Different Forward aerial, some different effects, Down Smash functions differently; the first hit is necessary for the second hit to land, granted the opponent is in front of Ganondorf. Ganondorf doesn't have an A Combo, instead his regular A move is stronger.
Note: They are the only pair of "original and clone" to originate from different universes.
- All attacks are similar, except for Young Link's Standard Special Move, where he shoots flaming arrows. Also, when Young Link attacks, his sword does not make a "slashing" sound, but it instead makes a "slapping" sound. However, his Up Throw involves his sword, and it makes a slashing sound only then. Down aerial is a Spike, provided Young Link lands the attack with the hilt of his sword.
- All attacks are similar, with the exception of Roy's Up Special Move and Roy's sweespotted Up Smash, which spikes. Also, while Marth's are most powerful at the tip of his blade, Roy's are stronger the closer the foe is to the center of his blade. The "sourspot" of Roy's sword attacks make a "slapping" sound instead of a "slashing" sound.
Note: They are also the only pair of "original and clone" to both be hidden characters. Roy's similarities to Marth have been said to have been the reason that Roy was replaced with Ike in Brawl.
- Bowser & Giga Bowser
- Captain Falcon-Ganondorf/Princess Zelda & Male/Female Wire Frames
- Master Hand & Crazy Hand
The former clones were differentiated with separate normal movesets and side specials. Luigi has a different Side Special than Mario (Luigi has Green Missile, Mario has Cape). They have different Forward and, to a lesser extent, Down Aerial attacks. They also have a different Forward Smash Attack, different Up Tilt and different neutral combo.
In the transition from Super Smash Bros. to Melee, characters like Jigglypuff and Captain Falcon have been Luigified and are equipped with new attacks. In Jigglypuff's case, it has kept some of its moves from SSB, while Kirby has received new ones.
Clones in SSBB
Most clones have since been Luigified in Brawl, and while some agree that clones are entirely non-existent in SSBB, debate continues over whether or not Toon Link is a clone of Link, despite sharing a vast majority of the latter's moves.
- Although most people consider them to be clones, there are some differences. The only differing moves are Up Smash (which shares the first strike), Neutral Aerial, Forward Aerial, Back Aerial, Forward Throw, and Back Throw. Also, Toon Link's Down Aerial is a Stall-Then-Fall Aerial and a Meteor Smash, but still shares the same animation, along both Spin Attacks and Side Smashes. Toon Link's moves have slightly different properties, but ultimately use the same poses, making him the closest clone the game has.
Most of the semi-clones have some of the same standard animations as the original.
- Reflector works differently, and Blaster is slower but more powerful. Non-cloned moves include neutral combo (in addition to a different animation, Fox's will repeat the first punch as long as the button is held, while Falco will not), U-Tilt, N-Air, F-Air and Forward Smash. Falco's Back aerial is now a sex kick. Also, they share a similar Final Smash (Falco's Landmaster hovers higher with superior air mobility, while Fox's Landmaster has stronger blasts). While their Up Aerials are similar in animation, Falco's is performed on a slightly different axis.
- A completely different Final Smash and some different standard attacks (neutral, all tilts, Up Smash and F-Air), but some normal moves are still similar. And most notably, they both share 3 special moves, with the main cosmetic difference being that Captain Falcon has fire effects in his specials, while Ganondorf's specials feature darkness or electricity. Raptor Boost and Flame Choke are initially similar, but the difference is that Raptor Boost launches the opponents, while Flame Choke grabs them, slamming them straight down.
- Share three special attacks that have a few minor differences. Ness has PK Flash & Lucas has PK Freeze. However, PK Freeze & PK Flash still work a little similarly, despite moving and looking differently with completely different hitboxes. Their Final Smashes also have similar animations and the same name, however, Ness' produces vertical knockback, while Lucas' produces horizontal knockback. A few of their standard attacks have similar animations, such as Forward Smash, Up Aerial, and Down Tilt. In Crusade however, they are hardly clones, as the only moves they share are forward smash, down tilt, down throw, and PK Thunder.
- The differing moves are neutral combo, Dash Attack, Up Tilt, Down Tilt, Forward Smash, Forward Air and Down Air. Two of their specials are different (while their Super Jump Punches have unique properties, they still have similar animations), as well as different Final Smashes.
Note: Now that they barely share any moves, many smashers don't even consider them to be semi-clones at this point.
- The only moves that are similar are their Final Smashes and Down Special moves. Side and Up specials are somewhat similar in function, but are still very different in damage, hitboxes, etc. Blasters are also very different, as Wolf's has a direct attack hitbox that actually has knockback with potential to KO. Almost all of Wolf's standard attacks are different from Fox's. Most people do not even consider them to be semi-clones.
- *: There has been much debate over whether or not these pairs of characters are semi-clones.
- They have some similar attacks, along with their Spin Attacks being similar in both appearance and function.
- They share some moves, although most moves are different.